Daily Drink Could Prevent Bone Loss in Older Women

by Chris Curley on July 13, 2012

Grandma may have reason to smile the next time she cracks open a bottle of wine.

According to researchers from Oregon State University, postmenopausal women who have a drink or two per day a few times per week have lower rates of “bone turnover” than those who drink rarely or heavily. In women with osteoporosis, high bone turnover mean more bone is lost than gained, leading to weak bones; lower bone turnover limits your risk for osteoporotic fractures, protecting your bones.

Amazingly, the effects of alcohol on women’s bone turnover after menopause is almost immediate, the research shows. After two weeks of teetotaling, women who had been regular drinkers saw their blood turnover markers go way up. But less than 24 hours after resuming drinking, blood turnover rates went back to their previous lows.

“To see such a measurable effect was really unexpected,” says study co-author Urszula Iwaniec, Ph.D. “Drinking moderately as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a good diet and exercise may be beneficial for bone health.”

The study appears online in the journal Menopause.

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